Skip to main content

Francesco Pesellino, Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi, Angel (Right Hand)

Key facts
Full title Angel (Right Hand)
Artist Francesco Pesellino, Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi
Artist dates 1422 - 1457; born about 1406; died 1469; born about 1406; died 1469
Group The Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece
Date made 1455-60
Medium and support Egg tempera, tempera grassa and oil on wood
Dimensions 45 × 61 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Countess Brownlow, 1917
Inventory number NG3162
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Angel (Right Hand)
Francesco Pesellino, Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi

This angel comes from a pala (an altarpiece with a single, unified surface) which was sawn into pieces in the eighteenth century, but reassembled by the National Gallery in the 1930s. In a particular light you can see the joins where the parts have been stuck together.

The altarpiece was made for a confraternity of priests in Pistoia, and shows the Trinity (God the Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost as a dove) with saints and angels. This fragment is more damaged than the angel which appears opposite it, and has been more drastically cleaned in the past.

The angel’s pink robe has faded dramatically and parts of the flying blue ribbons have been repainted. Much of the underdrawing (the preliminary outlining of a composition) is now visible, especially in the pink drapery.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo

The Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece


This large altarpiece – one of the few in the National Gallery which is almost complete – has had an eventful life. It was commissioned in 1455 from the Florentine painter Francesco Pesellino, and is his only surviving documented work. He died in 1457 and it was finished by Fra Filippo Lippi and his workshop. We know a lot about how and why it was made from the records of the confraternity who commissioned it.

From 1465 it sat on the high altar of the church of the Holy Trinity at Pistoia, but in 1793 the confraternity was suppressed and the altarpiece was taken apart, with the main panel sawn into pieces, and dispersed. Most of it was gradually acquired by the National Gallery and the altarpiece reassembled.

This is the earliest pala (an altarpiece with a single main panel) in the National Gallery.